You may have learned in school that the right to a speedy trial is one of our Constitutional rights. However, if you are charged with a violent crime or many other crimes, you may wish to waive your right to a speedy trial for several reasons.
On January 12, 2023, Bryan Kohberger, the man suspected of killing four Idaho University students, Kaylee Goncalvez, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle, and Ethan Chapin waived his right to a speedy trial.
Any crime in which someone uses, threatens to use, or tries to use physical force against someone else is considered a violent crime. Since they lead to injuries or death for victims or bystanders, punishing such crimes is a priority for the State, and they do not wish to delay the process.
The initial processes in a criminal case include arraignment and entering of a plea, monitoring of indictment, and potentially, waiving of speedy trial. When facing such an accusation, an experienced criminal defense firm is able to provide the legal help needed. Kohberger’s criminal defense attorney is currently Anne Taylor.
What Are The Processes When Waiving the Right to a Speedy Trial?
Just because a defendant has a Constitutional right to a speedy trial and resolution to their case, doesn’t mean it is their best course of action. Motions that will give the defense team more time to research and strategize can potentially improve the fairness of the proceedings for the defendant.
Hearings and motions are key to the criminal judicial process. Generally, a defendant will appear for their initial hearing in front of a magistrate either the same day or within 24 hours of an arrest. This is when the defendant hears what charges have been brought against them and their Constitutional rights.
At the initial hearing or combined arraignment, the defendant will enter an initial plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest. Bail will also be set. Often because they don’t know what to say or do, this initial hearing can result in prison time for defendants, thousands of dollars in fees and fines, and a felony record for life.
In Kohberger’s case, he waived his extradition hearing and agreed to be moved to Idaho on January 5. Most recently, a change of venue motion has been submitted. These are criminal defense maneuvers to help give Kohberger the best chance at a fair venue and trial.
How Will an Attorney Defend Against a Violent Crime Charge?
A criminal defense attorney can defend a violent crime case in several ways. The first step is attempting to have the charge dropped or dismissed.
Other possible defenses for violent crimes include:
The defendant acted in self-defense or to defend himself or herself or someone else.
Their action was not willful with no criminal intent.
Someone else committed the crime, and they are a victim of misidentification.
Although it is possible for the prosecutor to dismiss charges early on, Kohlberger’s defense team will need time to research whether or not there is insufficient evidence or if the police violated Constitutional rights during the investigation, search, arrest, or interrogation. Waiving his right to a speedy trial extends the time for the legal processes to occur, but it gives Kohberger’s defense time to plan.
It is important to remember that the intent of all hearings, motions, and conferences is to ensure a fair judicial process including trial if necessary, provided everyone follows the rules. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. It is also important to remember that the prosecutor must prove that the defendant is guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
An experienced criminal defense attorney can fight for the defendant’s rights to give them the best chance for a fair and positive outcome.
The next court date for Kohberger is a preliminary status hearing, which is essentially a Judge and lawyer meeting to determine the direction of the case is set for January 19th at 10am.
If You Are Charged With a Crime of Violence, Call Today
If you are placed under arrest and charged with a crime of violence, you must exercise your rights in a cooperative manner. Be firm about your right to an attorney and do not delay in obtaining one. Call an experienced Ohio criminal defense firm at (740) 883-3400 as quickly as possible.
The sooner you retain an attorney, the more time that attorney will have to examine the evidence and develop an effective defense strategy on your behalf. The prosecutor goes to work on your case from the moment you’re charged, and an experienced criminal defense attorney will do the same.
Written by The Law Office of Brian Jones, LLC
- Dr. Benjamin Jackoby
- Dr. Hank Jackoby